Confusion on Grand Island over approval of West River bike path

gr-proposal

GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) — A controversial proposal has turned Grand Island into a land of confusion.

Some people on the island are overjoyed that the state is moving ahead with changes to the West River parkway.

“The whole west side of the island is going to be transformed into recreational space for people to bike, to jog in a way that’s safe and free of cars,” said Nathan McMurray, town supervisor.

New York state parks made the decision last week. In a statement, the director of state parks, Mark Thomas, said “state parks has concluded our design review and will begin developing detailed construction plans and specifications for option three.”

This means the West River parkway will be closed.

But, other town leaders say it’s not a done deal.

“They did say it was finalized this past Wednesday, however we then brought up some very serious safety concerns and Mark Thomas has requested that we sit down and review our alternate proposals. I would assume that if he’s asking about those options, they are still not off the table,” said Mike Madigan, town councilman.

Some people against the project say they don’t believe the state’s decision is final and they feel blindsided.

“I think it’s a total lack of respect for our opinion. No one wanted it or knew or even thought of closing the parkway. We were stonewalled,” said Rose Bugman, resident.

Although there seems to be confusion on the island, town supervisor Nathan McMurray says the state made it’s decision and he calls it ‘pretty black and white.’

The state parks expects construction to begin next fall and they hope to complete it by Summer 2018.

Madigan says the town voted to reject the parkway 3-2 because of safety concerns.

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